After learning the verdict of non-indict to Daniel Pantaleo concerning the killing of Eric Garner, protesters in cities all over our nation poured out into the streets. Chanting "I can't breathe", "Hands up don't shoot" and "I still hear my brother crying I can't breathe; now I'm in the struggle saying I can't leave". The protesters are out in the streets voicing outrage over the constant injustice our minority communities experience far more often pertaining to the percentage of the population they consist of, than non-minorities. This problem seems self-evident from my point of view. It gets better and then worse like a roller coaster ride. Nevertheless the problem is never completely vanquished and I am not sure it ever will.
As a white male I could be prone to believe this problem does not affect me. I know this not to be the truth . The truth is, our justice system is built to defend the pillars of our mixed market economy which is also rooted in this kind of atrocity. When examining U.S. history we find incidents of not only state sponsored violence upon underprivileged sectors of our society, but also private funded violence (see our violent labour history up through the 1930's) and senseless white on black violence beginning with the Tulsa, OK. Black Wall Street Massacre in 1921, through Los Angeles, CA Watts Riot. The U.S. has a history of needless violence and it is our duty, as citizens to take to the streets and draw attention to these atrocities as they occur.
I side with the protesters. The problem I have is not with those out in the streets. The problem I have is within myself. I do not have the resources or will to join in protest. I work too much, I have dependent lives who need my attention and in all honesty if I deviate from my routines too far, I lose the ability to pay my bills and sustain the meager existence I have carved out for myself. I am making excuses based in reality. While at home after work I try to engage on the ground protesters through social media and stay informed of the good fight not being fought by myself. I know what's right in terms of protest, and what is right in this case is to make it out to the streets, demand justice and force the life back into the lungs of Lady Justice. In my day to day life while enduring the struggle I also know what's right. What is right is to be the best human I can be, to make the choice between fear and love, to embrace the unknown while knowing we are all in this together, interdependent and interrelated, as a species, as an ecosystem as a planet within our universe. We could be beautiful creatures, stewards of our world, but instead we are this way. It is our choice to !@#$ it up.
All of my friends on the front lines braving tear gas canisters, ornery police officers and the threat of incarceration I have your back, and if there is ever anything I might be able to help with please do not hesitate to let me know. Below this post is a list of demands which was handed out by protesters on Staten Island this last Friday.
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